Monday, September 22, 2014

Where do you like to read??

For the past 2 weeks we have been learning about 1 of our Daily 5 components, Read to Self. We created an anchor chart (a chart that goes on our wall to remind us of what we talked about) with our 5 expectations which are: 
  1. Get started quickly (swing arms like you're walking fast) 
  2. Stay in 1 spot (use super glue) 
  3. Read quietly (shhhh...) 
  4. Read the whole time (stretch arms out while saying "whole time")
  5. Build stamina (stack hands alternately) 
 Ask your child to show you our actions to go with each expectation (see orange above) 

We've also talked about finding a just right spot to read. We talked about how just right spots are comfortable and let you be a reader. We then tried out different spots in our room to see where we were most comfortable. We tried out Mrs. Malchow's wheelie chair, laying on the floor, using the paw print stools, sitting by the fish tank, and more. See our list of spots we LOVE! 
We then talked about how the coolest looking spots aren't always the best spots. While we were trying out spots, we also worked to build our stamina for reading. Our first few attempts didn't take us far, we were able to read for about a 2-3 minutes. By the end of the week, we had built our stamina up to be able to read for 8 minutes. This may not seem like much, but for little minds, this is a wonderful jump. Currently, we are reading independently for 10 minutes!! Having a comfie spot usually makes a BIG difference for little learners! 

After trying several spots we wrote about our favorite spots as well. Our writing goal was to stretch words out and our illustrating goal was to use at least 5 colors and detail.
Where is YOUR favorite place to read? We would LOVE it if you would leave us comment and tell us about it!

The birthday chair!

Check out the super cool chair that we get to sit in when it's our birthday. The birthday kiddo also gets a crown, a birthday pencil, a special birthday badge, a funky birthday straw and of course the coveted birthday spirit stick! Birthdays are PAWSitively a blast in The Dog Room!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Skype'n buddies!!

Introducing ourselves to our buddy class.
We finally got to meet our buddy class in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada via Skype on Friday. At first glance, we were a little astonished to see that many of the students were dressed like pirates as you can see in the picture to the right. Mrs. Draper told us that it was "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" and so many of her students dressed up as pirates for the day.

We spent some time meeting our new buddies as both classes came up to the camera one at a time to introduce themselves. You can see one of Mrs. Draper's kiddos below introducing himself. When it was our turn, we also wrote our names on a little white board so they could see our names (that's what Mr. Sufka is passing out) as our audio seemed to have a bit of lag. 
writing our names on white boards
Getting our iPad art ready to share
After introducing ourselves, both classes shared some of the art we created for International Dot Day. Mrs. Draper's kiddos used the COLar Mix app just like we did but also made Dot Rock art. We then shared screen shots of our COLar mix projects as well as our Digital Dot art. There were lots of ooohs and ahhhhs as we shared. It was a great experience and we are excited to connect again soon. Next time we will be sharing information about our schools. We plan to take pics of some of the important places in our school and classroom to share with our buddies.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Olives and math??

Has your child come home asking for olives only to find out they wanted to put them on their fingers? 

Today in math we worked on analyzing teen numbers. We put olives (cubes) on our fingers to represent teen numbers (yes, we worked with partners so we wouldn't have to use our toes- nobody wants to eat olives off their toes... yuck!) We then grouped 10 of our olives  cubes together to show how teen numbers always have a group of 10. We had a lot of fun being silly with our olives, but more importantly, kiddos learned a very important piece of information in a way that helped it to stick.
Sorry if your child is now only playing with their olives and not actually eating them :-)

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's International Dot Day!

Did you know that Sept 15th is International Dot Day?! This day revolves around the book by Peter Reynolds called, The Dot and challenges participants to make their mark and see where it takes them. To get the kids excited about what we were going to do, each of them got this sheet on their desks this morning. Their job was to color a picture inside of "the dot".

Once they finished their coloring, they opened an app called, colAR Mix on their iPads and pointed their iPad at their image. As they held their iPad on their sheet, the center area came to life in a 3D way. You can click on the link above to download this free app and try it yourself. There are other neat pictures to color and use the app on as well.

This was just the beginning- later in the morning we enjoyed the book, The Dot, via the YouTube video below. We then talked about creativity, self expression, and taking risks.  After our discussion, we created our own dot projects, digitally, on our iPads using an app called, Drawing Pad.  It was amazing to see what "just a dot" can turn into when it comes from different people's imaginations. We will be sharing our creations with our buddy class in Oshawa, Ontario Canada later in the week via Skype. We're excited to meet them and see what they did for Dot Day too!


Here are our finished digital dot art pieces. Kiddos not only learned how to navigate our new app, but also how to use a stylus, how to take a screen shot and how to save their images to their camera roll today as well. It was a fantastic day of embedding technology into our learning!

Stay tuned for more global, collaborative digital projects as we will be participating in several throughout the year. Our next project will have us learning about different areas of the United States through a leaf exchange. More info to come on that soon.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Picking Just Right Books

We will be learning about picking "Just right" books later this week. This is a video that we will use to help us learn what each letter of the acronym IPICK means.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

iPad Licenses and Pic COllage

Well it's day 5 of the school year and we are already well into taking pictures with our iPads and using the app PicCollage. We've also been working hard to earn our iPad licenses by knowing how to carry our iPad, how to adjust the volume, where to put them when they need charging, how to enter and exit apps, and more. Half of our class has earned their licenses and the privilege of creating on their iPads in some of the fun areas on our classroom such as the stools, crate chairs, etc. 

This week we discussed how to take pictures. We learned how to zoom in and out, how to change our vantage point by turning the iPad horizontal versus vertical and what makes a good picture. The kiddos did a fantastic job and it was neat to see the pictures they took as their eye for a great picture is often different than what we might expect.

After taking pictures of the items in our Me Bags, we learned how to import them into the app, PicCollage. This is a free app that allows you to collage your pictures, add text and stickers, and change fonts and backgrounds. It's a powerful but very easy app to use.  

Each of the kiddos then moved and resized their pictures to create their own unique version of their Me Bags. They also learned how to add text, change the font, color and background of the fonts!  We will be sharing these with you soon as currently we don't have email set up to be able to share our creations with you.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mystery Readers, Me Bags and More...

We had 2 mystery readers this week in our class. Mr. Sufka came in Thursday and read a Pete the Cat book ( can you believe he brought a cat book to the dog room?)and then he read one of my favorites, Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch.

Our new Associate Principal, Mr Zurko came today and read 2 of his favorites including a book called, Goldilocks Rocks which was a cute spin off on the classic Goldilocks.

We also spent time getting to know each other this week to build community in our classroom. We've been showing our Me Bags, a few every day to find out more about each other. We have a lot of tractor lovers and soccer fans in our room this year. It's been fun to hear about the things that each person has brought. We'll be finishing our last 3 Me Bags next week and then doing an iPad project with our objects before bringing our bags home.

Another activity that we did this week was to find friends that had similar interests and likes to ours. Each kiddo had a sheet that gave them a variety of things such as: Do you like ice cream? Do you like the beach? Do you like dogs? (not sure who was able to answer that question) and they then mulled around the room introducing themselves to each other and asking each other if they liked these certain things. It gave everyone a chance to chat in an informal way and to break the ice a bit more. It was a fun activity for all!